Windermere, Cumbria (town)

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Windermere - Main Road.jpg
Windermere town centre
Windermere is located in South Lakeland
Location in South Lakeland
Windermere is located in Cumbria
Location within Cumbria
Population8,359 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSD4198
Civil parish
  • Windermere and Bowness[2]
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLA23
Dialling code015394
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
54°22′34″N 2°54′25″W / 54.376°N 2.907°W / 54.376; -2.907Coordinates: 54°22′34″N 2°54′25″W / 54.376°N 2.907°W / 54.376; -2.907

Windermere (/ˈwɪndərmɪər/) is a town and civil parish in the South Lakeland District of Cumbria, England. In the 2001 census the parish had a population of 8,245,[4] increasing at the 2011 census to 8,359.[1] It lies about half a mile (1 km) east of the lake, Windermere.[5] Although the town Windermere does not touch the lake (it took the name of the lake when the railway line was built in 1847 and the station was called "Windermere"), it has now grown together with the older lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere, though the two retain distinguishable town centres. Tourism is popular in the town owing to its proximity to the lake and local scenery. Boats from the piers in Bowness sail around the lake, many calling at Ambleside or at Lakeside where there is a restored railway. Windermere Hotel opened at the same time as the railway.

The civil parish contains both towns, the village of Troutbeck Bridge to the north and several hamlets, including Storrs to the south and Heaning to the east. Belle Isle and part of the lake are also within its boundaries.


Historically a part of the county of Westmorland, Windermere town was known as Birthwaite prior to the arrival of the Kendal and Windermere Railway, which stimulated its development. Windermere station offers train and bus connections to the surrounding area, Manchester Airport and the West Coast Main Line.

The geological formations around the area take their name from the town. They are called the Windermere Group of sedimentary rocks. The town's name is also given to the Rt. Hon. Dr David Clark, Baron Clark of Windermere, who now lives in Windermere.


The word "Windermere" is thought to translate as "Winand or Vinand's lake". The specific has usually been identified with an Old Swedish personal name Vinandr. The other possibility is for a Continental Germanic name Wīnand.[6] The second element is Old English 'mere', meaning 'lake' or 'pool'. There is a reference to "Wynandermer" in 1396.[7]


Windermere was from 1894 to 1974 governed by an urban district council which in 1905 absorbed the former Bowness-on-Windermere UDC although Bowness remained a separate civil parish until 1974. Windermere UDC had slight boundary changes in 1934 and was abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 replacing it with South Lakeland District Council. The Windermere coat of arms was commissioned in 1968 and designed by local schoolgirl, Sheila West.


Windermere railway station in 2008. The Booths supermarket in the background has been designed to mimic the former trainshed and also incorporates the frontage of the original station.

Windermere railway station was built in 1847 and was the reason the town was established.[8] The station serves trains run by Northern to Oxenholme on the West Coast Main Line. There are also services that run on further to Manchester Airport.[9]

The town is near the A591, a major road running through the Lake District from Kendal to Keswick.


There are three primary schools located in the town. Secondary education is provided by The Lakes School (state) and Windermere School (independent, ages 2–18), both of which are located on the outskirts.

Notable People[edit]

  • Thomas Gardner (born 1996) - filmmaker.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Windermere Parish (E04002661)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Windermere and Bowness Town Council Website". Windermere and Bowness Town Council. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  3. ^ "South Lakeland District Council Website". South Lakeland District Council. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  4. ^ UK Census (2001). "Local Area Report – Windermere Parish (16UG078)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  5. ^ "Pictures of Windermere". Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  6. ^ Whaley, Diana (2006). A dictionary of Lake District place-names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society. pp. lx, 423 p.374. ISBN 0904889726.
  7. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas: CP 40/541;; 4th entry; animals being taken from John Burgh by 2 guys from Wynandermer
  8. ^ Reid, Jim (2011). Tour of the Lake District. Cicerone Press Limited. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-849-65465-4.
  9. ^ "Train Timetables". Transpennine Express. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  10. ^ Nicholson, Savannah. "Windermere Filmmaker on new war film" The Westmorland Gazette. 25 May 2021
  11. ^ "Award-winning film shot by Cumbrian man" CumbriaCrack. 5 April 2022

External links[edit]